Goood idea to close unused accounts?

Submitted by kahill1918 on Mon, 02/04/2008 - 19:50

Got my free credit report and was surprised to see I had several accounts still open even though I had not used them for years. Would it hurt my credit score (which is very high) to close them?

On the contrary they're likely helping your score in a couple ways. Older tradelines are a good thing, unused credit cards show you know how to balance a budget, aswell as a low proportion of balances to limit ratio is going to increase your score (makes up for ~30% of your score).

Mon, 02/04/2008 - 20:24 Permalink

yea I would keep them open for as long as you can.

Mon, 02/04/2008 - 22:11 Permalink

If you are not paying anything on them, I would leave them on there, they are not hurting or eating anything. I think that closing them may hurt your score, so you will want to becareful of this when you make your decision.

It may be a good idea to keep them open, but keep an eye on them also.

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 01:40 Permalink

You could possibly contact those creditors and have your limits reduced just so you don't have so much available credit out there. I don't think that would hurt your credit score. You could also tell them you're thinking about using them and ask to have your interest rates lowered. It wouldn't hurt because some companies will at your request and you never know if you'll actually need to use them down the road.

Tue, 02/05/2008 - 03:10 Permalink

I would also keep these accounts open to close actually bring down your score. Having a low balance increases it.

Tue, 02/12/2008 - 01:00 Permalink

Try reducing the available credit. That will help increasing score and make u more creditor friendly.

Tue, 02/12/2008 - 09:34 Permalink
Valerie (not verified)

My credit report today showed a similar thing- a credit card account I believed I had closed in 2005. I called Capital One, and was informed that the account was "restricted", and did I want to close it? However, they couldn't explain what restricted status meant to me. The best explanation I got was that Restricted status could be the result of three possible things: Fraud, Collections, or (most likely, but not definitely) Disuse, but they could not tell me which of those things caused the status change or what that status means to me. Since I can't use the account, should I close it? Or, since I can't get information on the account, is it better to leave it open? Does anyone know what Capital One really means by "Restricted?"

Sun, 02/17/2008 - 06:39 Permalink

It is more than likely because you have not used it. I don't know what this does to your score, if you are not using it and it is in good standing then it will usually help your score, I would maybe write the credit reporting agency and see what they have to say about the impact of a restricted account if you can't get the information off capital one, the credit reporting agency should be able to tell you for sure.

Sun, 02/17/2008 - 11:59 Permalink

I think reducing your limits would be bad on old accounts. If part of the credit score is driven by how much of your credit line you are using, then it would be detrimental to artificially reduce that number. Carrying a $200 balance on an $1000 line of credit is 20%, but reduce your limit to $500 and suddenly you are at 40% and your score plummets!

Mon, 02/18/2008 - 15:19 Permalink

Looks like there is a variety of opinion here, guess the decision is really up to you on this one. Maybe you would consider only closing a few and keep your available credit use down to a minimum, try not to use the cards that you keep.

Mon, 02/18/2008 - 16:22 Permalink

You need to keep them open. They are very important for utilization and more importantly, AGE! Age is one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to getting loans and such. Closing them would be a bad idea.

Wed, 02/20/2008 - 18:57 Permalink

I think age comprises 15% of the credit score. So it is very important to maintain the history of your credit. I puzzled up there as well by saying one has to reduce available credit. I meant keeping the available credit low helps while taking a new credit.

Kahill has too many open accounts and if these are not doing any harm then its is prudent to keep the accounts rather than trying to remove it. But for other people always remember, do not open too many accounts, because the number of inquiries that will follow can decrease your scores by leaps and bounds.

Thu, 02/21/2008 - 11:48 Permalink

Yep, inquiries can be nasty. Especially on Experian. Luckily, it is possible to bump your inqs off of TU and EQ by pulling daily with MyPrivacyMatters and TrueCredit. It's very easy to get denials if you have even 3 inquiries in the past 12 months. Some places don't like to see you applying for too much credit. If you are going to apply for a bunch, you need to do it all together as a spree. Alot of times inquiries can be combined. If you go for an auto loan you may need to call the CRAs and request that and tell them you applied for an auto loan.

You don't want 20 inqs on there from one attempt at a car loan.

Thu, 02/21/2008 - 14:08 Permalink

Take it from someone who's "been around the block" regarding credit. Keeping your old accounts would not hurt your credit rating at all. Closing them would have a more negative impact since it would lower the amount of credit you have at your disposal. That's one of the factors that goes into determining your score.

Fri, 06/13/2008 - 13:22 Permalink


The older your credit hisory the better your credit. Now, you will want to make sure that you are paying any annual fees etc associated with those accounts so they stay postitive but, I would keep them. If any one account has a really nasty annual fee I would wait until the account expires, then close it. Just as long as you have an account thats just as old to keep up that history. BTW, often when you call CC and tell them why you want to cancel they will upgrade your account to keep you as a customer. This often gets rid of nasty fees and intrest rates.

Fri, 06/13/2008 - 21:40 Permalink